Israel, Sudan Agree to Normalize Relations in White House-Brokered Deal
Oct 26 2020
Historic diplomatic normalisation deals with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and now Sudan have been forged with significant White House input and - while none of the deals has yet been completed - they represent a huge shift in regional relations.
Iran, which has been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and remains on the U.S. blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism, saidSudan had paid a "shameful" price to be removed from the "phony" blacklist.
The agreement had been sealed in a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and the chairman of Sudan's transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, senior US officials said.
Mr. Meadows said it you had asked him three months ago, he would have had a hard time believing Sudan and Israel would be speaking to each other in a diplomatic setting.
Trump can tout himself as a peacemaker in order to buff up his own legacy, but we aren't about to see the USA pouring billions of dollars into Sudan or even coming close to matching China's infrastructure investments there. Trump saidSudan had demonstrated its commitment in battling terrorism.
Not everyone in Sudan, however, appears happy with recognizing Israel.
On the streets of Khartoum, reactions were not quite as positive.
Mr. Kushner called the normalization deals the start of a "paradigm shift" in the Middle East. Getting peace agreements done are not as easy as we are making them look right now.
Egypt did so in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
"The Presidency of the State of Palestine expressed today its condemnation and rejection of the deal to normalise ties with the Israeli occupation country which usurps Palestinian land", a statement said. But none of that money will be paid out until lawmakers resolve Sudan's "legal peace", and after a deal to do so fell apart last month, several sources warned there's no resolution in sight. "In this peacemaking endeavor, [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu's vision and [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump's dedication to advancing Arab-Israeli peace have been transformative".
Kamal Omar, a leader in the Popular Congress Party, said in a separate statement that Sudan's transitional government is not elected and therefore not authorised to normalise relations with Israel.
"The leaders agreed to begin economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture".
The statement also outlined other incentives that had been offered to Khartoum in order to encourage it to sign the deal, with a report disclosing that Washington would pay $750m to Sudan to help salvage its collapsed economy and that aid packages would be provided for two years, including fuel, wheat and medicines. This in turn granted the nation the opportunity to work with the U.S.to "restore Sudan's sovereign immunity and to engage its global partners to reduce Sudan's debt burdens". "The United States and Israel also committed to working with their partners to support the people of Sudan in strengthening their democracy, improving food security, countering terrorism and extremism, and tapping into their economic potential".
The normalisation agreement sparked fury on social media in Sudan.
Israel in those days accused Sudan of allowing passage though its territory of arms shipped in from Iran and smuggled into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The Times of Israel is reporting through US sources that an unannounced part of the peace deal was Sudan committing to designating the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group as a terror organization.